Wednesday, November 16, 2011

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Five days ago, I sat in my little red car with a backseat full of blankets, discarded props, Cheerios, Goldfish, and an expensive camera bag, and I drove forty minutes north of our little apartment with the dead mums sitting next to the front door. I drove and I drove and I drove and as I drove, I started thinking. And when I started thinking? I started seeing! Without meaning to, I saw myself for what I really was and for the person I really had been.

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I like words and I like romanticizing, so it's really easy for me to remember myself as someone fantastically cool, but mostly I remember myself as someone ridiculous and little. Not little in the sense that I am a teeny, tiny person but little in the sense that I have a little personality and not too much to say and that I come off as small to other people because I'm boring. Which, honestly, has never been the truth. I was shy when I was in junior high and when I spent my entire freshman year nursing a mad crush for a friend of my brothers, but aside from that, I'm much more apt to put my foot in my mouth than to stay quiet.

But! I digress! As I drove, I saw myself as a scared, skinny nineteen year old with big hair and big dreams and a loud mouth and a big smile and I remembered something I had forgotten about for the past six years. The memory wasn't glamorous but it made me think. What I remembered was being in a crowded room when a boy I'd kissed the week before came up to me and started saying frustrated things to me in front of my friends and I blew him off and walked out of the room with a male model I'd known for three minutes flat, even though one of my friends thought he was painfully cute and I couldn't have cared less about him or the fact that one of my best friends had just spend three and a half minutes trying to attract his attention. Like I said, the memory wasn't pretty or shiny or nostalgic, but when I remembered this memory, I saw it. I saw what I looked like from the outside and I realized that even though I was a scared little girl with big dreams and huge hopes that felt like they were hanging by a thread, the outside of me looked fearless, bratty, overly smiley, and like I didn't care if I started a mini feud between boys I barely knew because, quite frankly, I didn't. Not because I thought I was cool or because I thought I had the world on a string but because it didn't matter to me. I had bigger fish to fry.

My drive wasn't over yet, so I kept driving and driving to get where I needed to be and, as I drove, I kept seeing myself in all the different situations I've put myself in. But instead of seeing myself as I usually see me, I started seeing myself as others saw me. Which probably sounds creepy and/or conceited, but as I thought, I kept surprising myself. My life started to make more sense! I understood why people had reacted to me in the ways I had and I saw how my actions often made others feel like I felt one way when I really felt the other. I saw how I looked on the outside when I was scared, when I was sad, when I was overwhelmingly happy, and when I was off in dreamland. I saw myself as someone who isn't me but as someone who's a person, just like everyone else. Which shouldn't be an odd phenomenon but it was! And the more I thought, the more I started to like myself. I tried to see myself how Andrew sees me. I tried to see myself how Maxwell sees me. And even though what I saw is basically what I think others saw in me, I started to like more and more off the odd bits of personality I have. And, as I've already said, I liked me. Which is a big deal. I've been self assured and confident for a good portion of my life, but I'm also pretty self depreciating and I have the worst guilt complex known to man. But! From the outside, you'd never know.

There's so much you can't know about a person from their surface. There's so much you can't know about a person even when they've opened up their hopes and dreams to you- even if it's in a way they've never shared themselves with anyone else. There's so much to learn about others. There's so much to learn about ourselves.

Sometimes it's hard to realize that everyone around us is just as much a person as we are. It's so easy to compare ourselves to others and to automatically judge whether we want to be friends with someone in one quick glance. But! I don't think that's what this life is about. I want to get to know as many people as I can. I don't want to shut down potential friendships simply because I don't see someone for who they really are. There have been so many times that I didn't like someone off the bat but, a few conversations later, we were inseparable. There have been so many times that, since I didn't know myself, I refused to get to know others. Is that not the biggest cop out for refusing to be nice? It is! And so! I'm going to try and start seeing myself for the person everyone around sees me for- not as the sometimes lost, sometimes sad, sometimes scared eleven-year-old trapped in a twenty-five year old's body but as the sassy, smart, creative and go-getter personality that the people who love me see when they look at me. And maybe that's conceited, but it's better than focusing on the negative and telling myself over and over about how nothing I do will ever be good enough because, truthfully, it is enough. That's the thing. When you're yourself, it's so hard to see what's enough and what's too little, but no one is a harder critic on you than yourself. And that, my friends, is a cliche... but a true cliche.

And because I need to post a picture of today and I'm too lazy and tired to pull out my cord, here's a screenshot of what's open on my computer aside from Blogger:


Pretty positive that my follower count on Pinterest thing is wrong because this says I have 179 followers and I can't have more than ninety. But y'know... whatev.

Catch y'all tomorrow!